Amir Zakaria Consulting Group | Design Thinking
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Design Thinking

Design Thinking

Design thinking is a process for creative problem solving. It is about applying the principles of design to the way people work (Kolko, 2015). In business organizations, design thinking balances analytical mastery and intuitive originality in a dynamic interplay and creates advances in both efficiency and innovation (Martin, 2009; Brown, 2008; Brown and Martin, 2015). Design thinking uses mainly abductive reasoning—-namely, to posit what could possibly be true and ‘‘actively look for data points, challenge accepted explanations and infer possible new worlds’’ (Martin, 2009).

Talent management can apply design thinking to improve the employee experience as a user and consumer of HR processes, products and services. When design thinking is applied to talent management, three key principles apply: namely, ‘‘empathize’’—-understand the workforce and the problems they face; ‘‘envision’’—-generate a variety of options and shape them into solutions; and ‘‘experiment’’—-test potential solutions with real customers, and refine them with data and feedback (Mazur et al., 2017). By discovering what people really need, talent management can devise breakthrough solutions that go beyond the obvious and rapidly design, build, and test prototypes to make things better. Design thinking allows talent management to better understand the employee experience—-of potential candidates and existing employees—-and redesign these employee experiences at the various touchpoints with the organization, rather than focusing on the process itself. One of the hallmarks of design thinking is simplicity: reducing unnecessary workplace complexity, and designing employee solutions that are compelling, enjoyable, and simple (Bersin et al., 2016). A design-centric culture focuses on the emotional user experience, creates models to examine complex problems in the workplace, uses prototypes to explore potential solutions, tolerates failure and exhibits thoughtful restraints about what the value proposition should be (Kolko, 2015).

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